Byung-chul Jeong, Jung Ha Kim, Kabsun Kim
Feb 1, 2017
Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), a member of the ATF/cAMP response element-binding protein family of transcription factors, has been implicated in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. However, whether ATF3 is involved in osteoclast differentiation and activity has not been well-studied. In the present study, we examined the role of ATF3 in osteoclast differentiation and function. ATF3 expression was down-regulated during RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation. Overexpression of ATF3 in bone marrow-derived monocyte/macrophage lineage cells (BMMs) promoted osteoclast differentiation and activity and strongly induced the expression of osteoclast genes encoding nuclear factor of activated T-cells c1 (NFATc1) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) compared to that in the control group. In contrast, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of ATF3 prevented the formation of multinucleated osteoclasts and markedly abrogated the expression of osteoclast marker genes. Mechanistically, ATF3 synergistically enhanced c-Fos- or NFAT-mediated transcriptional activity of the NFATc1 or TRAP promoter, respectively. Furthermore, ATF3 physically interacted with c-Fos and NFATc1 and enhanced the binding affinity of c-Fos and NFATc1 to the promoters. Interestingly, ATF3 is involved in calcium signaling during osteoclastogenesis. Taken together, these results suggest that ATF3 is a new co-factor of c-Fos and NFATc1 to activate osteoclast differentiation and activity.